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Smyth could face U.S. in friendlies

10/30/2012, 10:47pm CDT
By ERIC ANDERSON

She still needs to be officially named to the roster, but it looks like Shannon Smyth (Mequon/Milwaukee DSHA) will have a chance to play against the world's top-ranked team on her home soil.

The U.S. women's national team recently announced a pair of friendlies against the Republic of Ireland, on Nov. 28 in Portland, Ore., and on Dec. 1 in Glendale, Ariz.

Smyth, 25, has dual U.S. and Irish citizenship because her father,Brendan, was born and raised in Ireland. The attacker, who plays for Amazon Grimstad FK in Norway's Toppserien, has been a regular for the Irish the past two years and has earned 16 caps.

Ireland, which was eliminated from UEFA 2013 European Women's Championship qualifying in June, has lost all eight of its previous matches against the U.S. and was 34th in the most recent FIFA world rankings in August.

Interim coach Jill Ellis will continue to lead the American team during the friendlies. Tom Sermanni, a Scot who has been the Australian national team coach for eight years, was named the new U.S. coach on Tuesday, succeeding the departed Pia Sundhage, but doesn't start in his new position until Jan. 1.

Kickoff for the Nov. 28 match in Portland is 9 p.m., while the Dec. 1 game kicks off at 8:30 p.m. The matches are part of the team's "Fan Tribute Tour" following the Americans' gold-medal performance in the London Olympics last summer.

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Tag(s): International